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A program that allows people to cross remote areas of Canada without reporting to border officials is expected to resume in the next few days.
The Canada Border Services Agency told Minnesota Public Radio News that it has informed interested parties that the program will resume soon and that the reopening date will be posted on its website once confirmed.
The resumption of the program that was suspended in May 2020 when COVID-19 took hold will provide an economic boost to resorts and businesses in northern Minnesota, including those offering canoe rides in Quetico Provincial Park.
The park’s website said the program will resume on July 8 and that the Canadian border agency will begin accepting applications in the coming weeks.
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The suspension of remote permits for more than two years has had “a huge impact on us and the Boundary Waters,” said Mike Prom, co-owner of Voyageur Canoe Outfitters at the end of the Gunflint Trail.
It will likely take a few weeks for paddlers to start crossing the border into Quetico, Prom said, as it typically takes about three weeks to receive permits in the mail. She said travelers might also be able to drive to the border to get permits.
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Remote crossing permits are valid for areas along the Minnesota-Ontario border, from the Pigeon River to Lake of the Woods, in the Northwest Angle area, and along the Canadian shore of Lake Superior.